Update: Application Period Closed As Of 6/5/19

The Muse Collaborative is a nonprofit organization based in Camden, NJ that promotes excellence in, expression through, and appreciation for the hip-hop arts. We provide meaningful programming for rappers, DJs, graffiti artists, and our community in both highly structured and non-structured environments.

We are seeking a part-time program coordinator for educational youth programming and our VINYL Discussion Series. Candidates for the position should be driven, deeply committed to the people of Camden City, and comfortable working in a flexible environment.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead after-school programs and summer camp sessions for youth in K–12 settings
  • Facilitate evening discussions based around hip-hop albums, culture, and experience
  • Develop hip-hop centric curriculum focused on literacy, history, and music appreciation
  • Increase program participation and strengthen relationships with community partners
  • Track, evaluate, and respond to relevant programming data
  • Increase program generated revenue and assist with fundraising efforts

Position Requirements

  • Experience working with youth in urban, K–12 environments
  • Excellent written, digital, and verbal communication skills
  • Deep knowledge of hip-hop arts, culture, history, and advocacy
  • Reliable personal transportation and the ability to lift and transport loads up to 60 lbs.

Preferred Skills

  • Technological savvy with platforms like Slack, Google Drive, and WordPress
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English

This position requires 15–20 hours of work per week. While weekly classes run with community groups take place at set times, other position responsibilities can be completed on a flexible schedule. Compensation for this position ranges from $15 to 17 per hour, commensurate with experience.

Applicants should send a cover letter describing their interest in the position, a current resume, and contact information for three references to Interviews will be scheduled shortly after the application period closes on 06/05/2019.

The Muse Collaborative is looking for volunteers to help develop and expand our use of social media. Volunteers will compose posts, grow our audience, assist in developing an outreach strategy, and create tools for future volunteers. Individuals interested in this opportunity should have strong communication skills, experience with photography, image editing, and Google Drive, and a love of hip-hop arts and culture. Volunteers must be familiar and skilled with our primary social media outlets:

Primary Platforms
·» Facebook
·» Twitter
·» Instagram

Secondary Platforms
·» Youtube
·» Vimeo
·» Soundcloud

Volunteers are asked to commit to a set amount of time every week for the duration of their service and are expected to volunteer for at least two months. We also ask that individuals attend our events and connect with program participants when possible.

Individuals interested in this opportunity should should send a brief description of themselves, their interest in the role, and examples of past social media use to Michael Zier ( Resumes are optional, but welcomed, for this role.

The Muse Collaborative does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, veteran’s status, political service or affiliation, color, religion, economic status, or national origin.

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Calling All Writers

Person reading

The Muse Collaborative, a nonprofit organization in Camden, NJ, is looking for individuals interested in writing articles for its Hip-hop Library. From album reviews to personal stories, critical analysis, original research, and more, the Library is a celebration of culture, creativity, and wisdom.

Articles tend to be between 500 – 2000 words in length and cover a variety of topics. While high-demand albums for articles are always listed on The Muse Collaborative’s website, all proposals are considered.

The Muse Collaborative compensates authors for their work when possible. While funding is limited, authors tend to earn $30 – 50 per article. Individuals interested in publishing should send a brief description of themselves, their proposed article(s), and samples of past work to Resumes are optional, but welcomed.

Authors who consistently provide strong submissions may be contacted for special writing projects in the future.

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Muse Update – Giving Up on Giving Tuesday

Graffiti of the word SHARE
Artist Unknown - Camden, NJ

A lot of you know I grew up in a church background and that many of the stories, images, and analogies I use connect to that world. I rarely intend to make use of those ideas, but sometimes they just fit. All my references are like oddly specific crayons sitting in a box collecting dust till the right moment arrives and then they add the perfect amount of detail. “Why yes, this tree does need a touch of Bathsheba Brown.” I don’t think I’m the only one who creates this way. Hell, the album I just had on – GKMC – is layered with similar references.  Anyway, there’s a particular crayon I want to use today, one called ‘first fruits’.  Without getting too deep into the weeds, we’ll just say it’s the idea that when you offer something, it’s more powerful when you give out of what you have, not out of what you have left over.

The Muse Collaborative recently closed its Amazon Smile account. If you’re not familiar with that program, it’s an Amazon initiative that lets you donate .5% (50¢ for every $100 spent) of your purchase to a nonprofit.  We’ve also decided not to do any advertising for donations on “Giving Tuesday.” Our organization wouldn’t exist if the world already worked like we want it to.  To make society better, to support artists and creativity fully, to give reverence to those who’ve always been brilliant but have been ignored because of their identity, we must do something new.  We already know what sort of society we can build when our priorities after Thanksgiving are four or five days of sales followed by a day of giving.  It’s the one we have.

No one is dumb for utilizing discounts.  Nonprofits aren’t corrupt because they try to fundraise on a day marketed for giving.  But if we want to drastically reshape the world we live in, it’s important to admit these pragmatic half-measures aren’t what get us there.

Giving is sacrifice.

Interested in writing for our Hip-hop Library?  We’re currently looking for new authors and would like to publish 1–3 articles on the following albums:

  • Krown Rulerz – Paper Chase
  • Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
  • Dr. Dre – The Chronic
  • Wu-Tang Clan – 36 Chambers
  • Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
  • Lauryn Hill – Miseducation
  • DMX – It’s Dark and Hell is Hot
  • Eminem – Slim Shady LP
  • 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’
  • Lil Wayne – No Ceilings
  • Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
  • Migos – YRN

Send us a message if you’re passionate about any of these albums and have a story to tell.  Also, if you’re interested in promoting the arts, we’re still tracking down funding to pay our authors this cycle.  Toss some money our way so these brilliant minds can look at the cash comin in.

Finally, after way too many months of, “Coming in 20xx…” here’s the first iteration of our new website.  Enjoy it, critique it, and help us build out new features.  While this isn’t everything we intended to launch, it’s important we step out of the silence we’ve been dwelling in – better to be on the ground moving than waiting around for perfection.  We plan to publish news on our site (and across social media) with much more frequency now that we’ve gotten past this initial hurdle.

Most of the work we’ve done is behind the scenes and for that we want to thank Josh, Erin, Aaron, Joel, Dave, and Eric for the countless hours they’ve poured into this project.  Their effort means new features will be much easier to publish and troubleshoot in the future. If you notice any problems across the site (or if you want to give us an ego boost), feel free to contact us directly at  We’re also looking for people to help us curate site content and work on css/php coding behind the scenes, so if either of those options excite you, let us know.

Surprise update everyone. I had a great conversation with a friend the other night about social media and figured I’d come out of the woodwork to talk about our organization’s strategy with it. First of all, here are the links: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. You’ll notice we don’t put too much content out on those platforms. We don’t have anything against them, but we don’t fully buy into the payoff they’re advertised as having.  A couple of years ago, there was a market edge everyone needed to be on and a few groups were able to ride that wave to fame, success, and lots of money.  Those years have past.  Social media is ubiquitous now. It’s not really social media anymore – it’s just media.  And that’s ok.

If you were to weight the amount of time we invest in interpersonal communication (one-on-one conversations, round-table discussions) against the amount of time we put into our social media, you’d see the scales are clearly tilted toward toward face-to-face interaction. For every 100 event invites we broadcast over facebook, we get a couple of attendees.  For every text or phone call we send, the turn-out is far greater.  Some groups can compensate for this by increasing their audience dramatically.  Because we’re location based, however, we can’t.  There’s a finite amount of people who will be genuinely interested in our work and we do our best to weave them into our lives.  Sometimes that means we only have time for a quick message, but that can’t be our default. If we claim to be a community organization and don’t actually allot time to be in and around our people, we’re living a lie.

Technology isn’t the enemy and older forms of communication aren’t innately superior simply because of their age. However you choose to express yourself and wherever you choose to do so, we’ve got your back. As we brand ourselves though, social media feels a bit like popcorn – it’s easy to binge, it’s light, it’s lovable, and maybe it leaves you feeling a bit greasy after over-indulging. Hopefully our communication is more like a burrito: you’ll need to make time for us and there’s no way you’ll forget about us when you’re done. A good meal probably has room for both elements.

Anyway, speaking of social media, someone tweeted me an article about Killer Mike and his work at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta.  Check it out at Mmm, popcorn.

Man, two months goes by quick. Today’s post is going to be brief, but I wanted to thank Camp Freedom down in Fairview, PBCIP, The Future Scholars, Serrano’s Tavern, and Donkey’s Steaks for an amazing wave of summer programming. Listening to music with all of you, discussing the history and future of hip-hop, learning about your lives and experiences… all of it—it’s all been great.

We’re taking August off from programming to do some evaluations, raise funds, strategize, and find people in the community who’d like to shape the events we’ll be running this fall. Also, it’s just too hot out. If you don’t hear from us till September, don’t worry. We’re probably just catching up on all the music we missed during the summer.

Creativity is difficult. There’s a certain knack to it, and right now I’m not feeling that knack. I’m writing in a space where it’s easy to regurgitate ideas that are uninspired and unoriginal.  I feel the temptation to use a stale turn of phrase, you know, one like “turn of phrase.” Now, I’ve been a better writer, a better thinker, and a better communicator at times, but I’m rusty. I’ve developed habits and shifted around patterns in life so I wouldn’t need to write as often. I’m out of practice. Where there was once a creative outlet I felt comfortable in, there’s now expression lacking an outlet and a fear of writing because I no longer feel competent.

Back in college, I drummed in a few bands.  I wasn’t particularly good, but I was confident and comfortable while playing. Moving around after school made finding space and time for drumming difficult, and eventually it shrunk from a significant part of my life to a hobby taken up on rare occasion. Music, like writing, became what I did in additional time, and the older I got, the less of that there was. It’d be easy to let creativity leave my life completely, to rearrange my days so the only tasks I complete are those required of me. But despite all the barriers, I know I need creative action, not for the sake of those reading, but for the health of my own character. I don’t need to be the best artist in the world, but I need to take that hidden self from within me, wrestle with it, and send it into the world. The first obstacle on that path is being ok with not being ok.

Practice isn’t fun, but it is what life is built on.